I was lucky enough to take a longer than usual lunch break from work and headed to the quals.
Sadly, I could only get away from 12 noon so I missed the first matches on court, I really wanted to see Cohen, Vogt and MEP (in what peeps are saying is her last match?) Julia Cohen, WTF happened? 0 and 1???
Anyway, for those who know the Aussie Open and are heading there, you will see a few changes in courts.
Having caught the train to work every day last year, you can see the obvious changes on the hisense side and I am so glad they have finally worked out to keep all the courts on that side of the centre as practice courts.
Therefore, as a result, a number of changes on the city side have been made to accommodate those court losses. What you can’t see form the train is the changes on the city side.
Court 6 is now a mega- tron court. Massive temporary stand- bigger than the old court 18.As a result, no more court 4, as the stadium goes over part of that.
Court 8 (which was really quaint, standing on the grass hill) has a new stand on the grass hill. It is actually really good.
Court 14 has bigger stands and finally, court 15 is bigger, same temp stands as what court 6 and 7 where. For years I had wondered why they didn’t do this as there was plenty of room around.
Given I only went for 2 hours, I didn’t; check Margaret Court out but the structure from a distance looks awesome.
BTW- great atmosphere, heaps had heaps of people there, a ton of players watching and wandering around. Most notably, Beck, she is pretty petite btw, she was there the whole 2 hours watching a avreity of games. Rajicic also around- didn’t seem to sad she lost at all. Australian tennis keeps getting paid out- maybe it is the attitude of the players. I am not suggesting she needed to cry or not come out but she really didn’t seem like she had a care in the world. She probably knows, year in year out- because of the lack of competition, she will get a WC into quals and get her qualy pay check.
Perfect day for tennis. Great conditions.
A bit of a rant here but anyway….there has been a lot of talk on this forum of who would come to the Australian Open quals,, and who got in but then withdrew and how there is a lot of talk about how far away Australia I and the cost. I tell you, I have been going to the Open for close to 25 years and love love love love it. I can only imagine as a player what a thrill it would be to play in a grand slam, even if it is the quals. I love Lim’s attitude that she was devo not to enter bc playing a grand slam is so awesome. I so love her for that comment. The losing prize money, even in the 1st round would get you to Australia and back. (there are even a couple of $25K challengers in Australia in the coming weeks to maybe travel onto) As for the players who would prefer to play a challenger- are you kidding me. Challengers have there place- definitely- and with all due respect to the challengers playing his week- they are not a grand slam. Shame on those players for not coming here. Without being biased- about everything I am said and how awesome it would be to play here, mingle with players and the excitement of a grand slam- Melbourne is an awesome place to visit.
So, I missed Jules, Vogt, MEP & malek but a number of my other favs were playing.
I saw the last game of MJMS…. She looked good and fought hard but was just too inconsistent for the young Thai. Sadly, ythat is all I saw.
I was really keen to see Genie Bouchard and having watched the live scoring at work thought she was headed for a doomed Australian Sumer having ben down a set and 2-0. (I can imagine dirty old Nasty Natalie trying to make her hate and not come to Australia like she did, fat moll) I was glad to see that when I arrived she had won the 2nd and was up a break. She is much skinnier than what you think and played really flat. Much like mary jo Fernandez. The match was really close. I liked the Brazilians game too. He back hand is in the same vain as Julie Gorges. Perieira got a bit down on herself and was a bit overpowered by the Canadian in the end. MEP watched on. She is such a attractive gal. Not as fit as she used to be but I guess if she is calling ti quits then why bother. She didn’t seem to sad (if it was her last match ever??).
Watched a little bit of Adamzcak and Pfizenmaier- heaps of Germans watching. Both very similar players- loopy forehand, Dinah is very fit. Very high ball toss. I left the match with Dinah winning, mainly because her two hander was more solid than the AusSies one handed backhand. She also had a bit more court craft. I was pretty surprised to see Mon won. Beck watched. As did Jess Moore. (honey, no wonder you lost, should have been preparing to your match with Karin…again, going back to the attitude of the Aussie players. FARK I HOPE THEY DON’T GIVE PEERS A DOUBLES WC.)
Was keen to see Nicole Gibbs play. On the new Court 8. (again, thanks for coming Nicole, as per your tweets earlier in December, we know you weren’t sure if you would make it- glad you did!! ) Gee, she is good to watch. Not only a really lovely hard hitter but has a bit of variety. She is pretty little too and has a baby face. Wearing adidas clothes but Nike runners and visor. Hadn’t seen either of the Sema’s play. This one was pretty tall and she also has a really good game. The match was hard hitting and fun to watch.
Saw Simmonds- hadn’t seen her before. She is also pretty little. Her style reminds me very much of watching Patty Schynder. (minus psycho husband, parents and boyfriends…and oj) She has fluro pink in her hair, matching her top. She played another tall Japanese player in Namigata. Namigata is the total opposite of Simmonds. Hits politely, very flat. The springbok was congratulated with a hug by Rajicic. When asked how she went by Simmonds, the Aussie said I lost but it doesn’t matter…hmmmm
Looked onto court 5 , anne K played Min. in is very short and stocky, plays like a terrier. Anne, watched by Bates and Sears, looked a bit rusty. She has a bit of personality though.
Saw a bit of Dushevina and Pegula. Hadn’t seen the American. Nice solid game. Not a lot of weapons, not a tall as I thought she was. Dushevina was typically dour & stoic.
Also saw a tiny bit of Dubois and Bychkova. Like Steph, the new Wilson out fits are green and look good. MEP watched on. Hadn’t seen the Russian for a few years- think she was banned one year. She is heavier (and slower) than the last time I saw her.
Went over to see Coin and Agul. Coin, watched by Steph Foretz, Parmentier (not together) Fusai and the handsome and charming 200 bronze medallist Arnud di pasquale. Arnaud- is charming but over the last 3 or 4 years whilst watching him watch the french players- he doesn’t really pay attention- always talking, not sure if the FFT are getting there value for $ at with him.
Anyway, Coin, plays so much like her namesake Halard. I forgot how similarly they played (as Coin had boycotted Australia over the last few years, pretty silly bc one of those years she would have made the doubles draw ) Good match. Agul, not looking as fit as previously, tried really hard. Very even match. Funny, bc although Steph Foretz is alt #1 in doubles with Agul, she was openly supporting Julie in this hard hitting affair. Dolonc watched and cheered for Agul after wiing her match.
Lucky for MEP, this match was on the court next to her other main doubles partner of the last few years, Sharon Fichman, who plays Savchuk. Savchuk look good. I hadn’t seen Fichman before. She is a bit of Helen kelesi (who I loved) and Sonja Jeyaseleen as she is Canadian (tick) short, tenacious(tick) and feisty(tick). Without being critical, she, like hurricane Helen, is a bit heavier than she should be. (tick) For a players of her stature, she needs to be fitter and quicker. She is short, so she needs to maximise her other assets, like Coetzer did. She hollered at her coach regularly, (tick) asking for advise, well demanding “larry” to tell her what to do. IFT event love, no on coaching here…..
Watched Ferrer-Suarez. Man, she is a dead ringer for Schiavone. Not only are her groundies the same, along with her serve, she even grunts like Francesca. The big difference is her physique. She is so broad and strong. Just as well HIgnis in in ®Adelaide because she would be making very nasty comments like she did towards poor Amelie. Amelie has nothing on ferrrer. This Sema she played was shoter, a lot shorter than her sister.
Next door was cabeza. Also strongly built, she seemed less awkward than when I watched her last- maybe 4 or 5 years ago against Carly Gullickson (I mis car, she was gorgeous) She had too much power for her Thai opponent.
Vic Larriere walked passed. She is a cutie. Sad I missed her play (and lose)
Saw the last few points of Dolonc and Schmiedlova. The Russian turned Serb was too strong for the Slovak, who is very slightly built in her Wilson ngreen outfir.
I love Maria Cameron. (MEC) She looked pretty relaxed as she walked onto her court- giving a hi and smile to one of my other favs, the similarly names MEP. (both btw, both ME and both born in 1982) MEC is such a cutie and I watched a few games. She is much heavier than the last time I saw her….no wear near as fit. She is older but I guess if she still wants to play, she will need to re gain her fitness as it, along with her tenacity is one of her major attributes. I was thrilled to see she one this marathon match. She no longer wears branded clothes, also wearing a hot pink number (but not hot pink hair like Chanel Simmonds)
Talking of hot pink, Jugic Salkic was head to toe in it- maybe too much, had the ruffle shirk nd top, looked like a mess. Alla K is very ginger haired these days.
Was really keen to go and watched Nat Burnett. (Annika Beck was too!!) She is tall. As in really tall. I love her game. She is very Lindsay Davenportish. Hard flat groundies. Sadly, like Lindzz, she is a bit slower. Unlike Linz though, she has a bit of a nasty kink in her serve. She is only young but she does play a little immaturely, meaning she maybe goes for the wrong shot at the wrong time, double faulting at critical times. I saw the majority of her match against Nasty piece of works Rodionova and she really had her chances to win it. (I was thrilled to see she won the 2nd set 6-0 when I was back at work but devo’s to later on when Rodionova won) Back to Burnett quickly, she defo has Top 50 potential, if she is smart and gets good help. Am not sure of her coaching situation but she needs to get a really experienced & hard coach and work on her speed around the court and some court craft. He best surface would be hard in hard indoor court. She needs to get a smart coach too work on her schedule. No clay court events for her. If I was her, with her ranking where it is, I would have hopefully entered Paris Indoors and be an alt to the qualy draw., I would then go play $100K Midland and Memphis.
I know I should try and be sympathetic or even like nasty Rodionova being Australian but she is horrible. Well documented and I know this forum knows what she is like but I was shocked. We all know she is a bad sport, challenged line calls, chucks her racquet, gives death stared to line judges and her support crew (I can’t stand her coach Louise Pleming, such a try hard) but that is one thing. You know, in some ways that could be entertaining and have a chuckle. But, what is not ok, is that she is openly horrible and nasty to the ball children. She berated them. She should be warned. What a moll. I had no idea she was so horrible. Her equally bullish and aggressive sister sat on the other side of the court of Pleming shouting encouragement to her. They are serious Euro-trash.
Anyway, loved my 2 hours there.(thanks boss for not being at work this week!!)
Hope to jump out again tomorrow and hopefully a few more players I am cheering for win…today has been bad! (although as I type it looks like Para and Orchamea will win!!)
I took some phoo's but it says they are too big??